Trousers for Kilimanjaro

7:22 a.m. on August 12, 2013 (EDT)
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I'm off to Kili in 3 weeks.

I've got a pair of North Face zip off trousers which are quite lightweight and good for the general going.

However, I need to buy something that's going to be more beneficial when it's wetter. I'm reluctant to buy waterproof shell trousers and think that something more all-round might be better. And they will get more use in the future.

Any product suggestions?

8:50 a.m. on August 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Can't help you with the suggestion, but I wanted to wish you well. I'm a bit envious.

3:23 p.m. on August 12, 2013 (EDT)
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DWR fabrics might be helpful, but they wet out after a while if there's steady precipitation. I carry a very thin pair of waterproof pants, lightweight and only worn in a steady downpour.

The alternative would be eVent, Goretex or Neoshell. but those would cost a lot and wouldn't be breathable enough for a hot climate.

Have fun on Kilimanjaro. Polé, polé. 

10:35 a.m. on August 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Shirts for Ilimani. Socks for K-2, and a partidge in a pear tree. I would be a lot more concerned about getting in really good shape and adjusting to the altitude.

Otherwise you might look reallly stylish in your new hiking clothers from Backpacker Magazine, lying by the trail waiting to be rescued or escape the body bag.

6:25 a.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
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ppine said:

Shirts for Ilimani. Socks for K-2, and a partidge in a pear tree. I would be a lot more concerned about getting in really good shape and adjusting to the altitude.

Otherwise you might look reallly stylish in your new hiking clothers from Backpacker Magazine, lying by the trail waiting to be rescued or escape the body bag.

 

Thanks for your absolutely rubbish reply. Why'd you even bother? What's the value in trolling these forums? Make you feel like a real man?

I've only been doing additional training for the last 4 months on top of what I normally do.  

Anyway, it's function over fashion any day. I need a new pair of trousers. Glad you couldn't be of assistance. 

12:51 p.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Mr. Glazier,

People die all the time climbing mountains from problems associated with exertion at altitude. Rather than focus on fashion I was trying to save you some potentially serious problems.

Anything but cottom in a baggy cut allowing freedom of motion will work fine. Clothes are the least of your problems. It might be rainy and cool on the upper third of the mountain, but you will be in equatorial Africa with a mild climate. Bring some rain gear and fleece and you will have the clothing covered.

2:54 p.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Ben, You might get some help from my article posted in the Blog section in Feb 2008, titled "Africa 2007". I would recommend against any of the zip-off pants, though nylon pants do dry fast. I used side-zip rain pants plus an eVent parka. Frankly, that was too hot. I would recommend using a high quality poncho with side snaps. This is what the guides and porters use, and for good reason! Ponchos give good ventilation, and the side snap type prevent the annoying flapping of many ponchos. It will also fit over your daypack. I am not on my regular computer, so I can't get at the URL for the article right now.

You will, guaranteed, get rain, and heavy rain, in the rain forest you pass through on the lower slopes. Plus fog, drizzle, and snow further up. Even in the "dry" season.

You might consider something like Patagonia's Alpine Guide pants. I have been using these recently in places like Peru. They are not truly waterproof, though I find they shed even heavy rain pretty well, plus dry fast. Pata's outlet stores are having a 40% off sale right now online. If you go with a poncho, you might consider rain chaps or microfiber pants. Columbia and Prana make these, which I find dry pretty fast, though they can get soaked in a downpour.

You are required to have local guide, cook, and porters. If you go with a European or US based company, you will pay for their personnel PLUS the local guide, plus the Euro-US overhead. If you are not already committed, check out Adventures Within Reach. They will set you up with a local Tanzanian guide service just like Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline, and the like book airline tickets.

3:23 p.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
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BillS knows his stuff! If he told me a poncho was a good idea, I'd be shopping before the words were out of his keyboard.

I can only add a suggestion to check out poncho-tarps. The advantage is peg-out loops or grommets for double-duty as a small tarp, usually 5x8. Can be exceedingly handy at camp or rest stops. I can pitch mine while still wearing it, though it's a funny-looking manoeuvre, for sure.

If you still prefer a bottom piece to go with a rain jacket, take a look at rain kilts. Paired up with high gaiters, you're covered, and with more breathability than pants. Without gaiters, your core is still protected. Available in silnylon, cuben, etcetera, but a drawstring garbage bag with the bottom cut out (maybe side slits for easier walking) will do the trick.

Good luck on your trek!

5:46 p.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
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11:51 p.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Mr. Glazier,

Upon futher reflection I can apologize for being sarcastic. But Africa is the great Enigma. The land of the world's greatest rangeland ecosystems, a continent which has suffered the worst attemps at colonialization, and has the poorest people on Earth. I have worked with lots of people from Nigeria, Cameroon, U of SA and Senegal. My brother took a 7 month trip by truck from London to Nairobi and sent me lots of 5 page letters which I still have.

People struggle in Africa with sufficient calories, basic health care and infrastructure. They have thousands of languages and tribal warfare, Apartheid, the tse-tse fly, AIDs, dirty water, and genocide. It seemed after reading your post, and it seems now that your inquiry about what kind of pants to wear is incredibly insensitive and clueless about your understanding of Africa.

It is more important that you give your pants to your guide when you finish the climb, than it is what type of pants you wear on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.

Please don't be like an acqauintance of mine that went to Africa on a fancy Safari with linen table cloths and lots of hired help. He showed us his 450 slides of wildlife, camp and the vairous parks and lodges. There was not one black person visible in any of his photographs.

3:24 a.m. on August 19, 2013 (EDT)
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PPine - making assumptions is foolhardy.  

You had absolutely no grounds on which to make these statements, making me out to be some privileged fool who has not one iota of understanding about the world that we live in.  I've had the chance to visit orphanages and schools in countries like Laos, India and Vietnam, and on one occasion I was in Cambodia during the largest ever outbreak of Yellow Fever. Seeing hundreds of families lined up at a clinic that was only able to provide limited free services was a sobering experience.

I merely was trying to find out information on a good pair of trousers, that I will repeatedly use.  I do a lot of cold climate trekking, so I won't be giving my clothes away.  

However, I am trekking Kili for a cause, and that's to raise funds for an ongoing project in Uganda assisting children and their communities to break the poverty cycle.

Here's the link to my trip: kilimanjarocharitytrek dot org

So whilst I'm not giving my clothes away, I'm doing much more to help people, and don't worry, there'll be other things that my team will get as support from me.

As for your friends with the linen table cloths, that's not me. 

Bill - thanks for your link to the article. A good, useful read. Poncho purchased btw! 

10:43 a.m. on August 19, 2013 (EDT)
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Mr. Glazier,

I am very happy to hear of your high level of awareness regarding the people of Africa. Have a pleasant and safe journey.

I have become sensitized to all of the oblivious Americans that do not understand the continent they are planning to travel to.

 

4:07 p.m. on August 20, 2013 (EDT)
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Bill mentioned the Alpine Guide pants by Patagonia.  Patagonia used to make a pair of pants called the Simple Guide.  I have both the Simple Guide pants and hoody and I think they are fabulous; less robust than the Alpine Guide but also much lighter.  The Simple Guide products have been discontinued, but you may be able to find them somewhere on the web.  For a less hardcare use, the Simple Guide products are perfect.

July 22, 2014
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